A new approach is presented to quantify the so-called “heat affected zone” (HAZ) during femtosecond laser pulse processing. Ablation of titanium nitride (TiN) thin films (∼3 μm thickness) by multiple femtosecond laser pulses (τ=130 fs, λ=800 nm) in air environment was studied by means of two different surface analytical methods both being sensitive to chemical alterations at the surface. Scanning Auger electron microscopy was applied for a visualization of the spatial distribution of specific elements (Ti, O) within the laser-modified areas. The chemical state of the irradiated surface was revealed by complementary x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Both methods were used for a depth-profiling chemical analysis (tracking the elements Ti, N, O, and C) using an Ar-ion beam for surface sputtering. In a narrow laser fluence range slightly below the ablation threshold of TiN significant superficial oxidation can be observed leading to the formation of substoichiometric TiO2-x. At fluences above the ablation threshold, an increased titanium concentration is observed within the entire ablation craters. Following upon sputter removal the elemental distribution into the depth of the nonablated material, the results allow an estimation of the heat-affected zone for femtosecond laser ablation in air environment. According to our analyses, the HAZ extends up to a few hundreds of nanometers into the nonablated material.